|Publication number||US8205279 B2|
|Application number||US 11/552,000|
|Publication date||Jun 26, 2012|
|Filing date||Oct 23, 2006|
|Priority date||Oct 24, 2005|
|Also published as||US8371825, US20070089235, US20070092388, US20110046582, WO2007050524A1, WO2007050616A1|
|Publication number||11552000, 552000, US 8205279 B2, US 8205279B2, US-B2-8205279, US8205279 B2, US8205279B2|
|Inventors||Benoit Devinat, David J. Copeland, Michael C. Pereira|
|Original Assignee||Sperian Eye & Face Protection, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (95), Classifications (11), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application claims priority to earlier filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/729,526, filed Oct. 24, 2005, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to emergency eyewash stations, and more particularly to an impeller assembly for such stations.
2. Background of the Related Art
Emergency eyewash stations take many forms, including plumbed stations, self-contained fixed-mounted units and portable units. Generally speaking, these stations are designed to dispense eyewash fluid (typically water) upon demand.
The plumbed eyewash stations are generally connected to the water supply pipes of an existing sink or are installed as a stand-alone emergency eyewash station with the water supply and draining connected to the regular building water systems. An example of a plumbed eyewash station is found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,740,569 issued to Gurries, II et al, which discloses a rotatable spray nozzle mounted to the base of a regular laboratory sink. The spray nozzle is piped directly into the main water supply and includes a valve that is opened when the spray nozzle is rotated into active position above the sink. Although plumbed eyewash stations generally provide instant availability of a washing spray they suffer from the disadvantage of relying on ordinary tap water as the cleansing agent. For example, tap water may carry bacteria and other unknown chemicals and contaminants that could cause infection of the eyes. It has been recognized that it would be more advantageous to have a system that used an eyewash fluid that was known to be free of foreign substances, i.e. filtered, purified or sterilized.
Attempts have been made to retrofit plumbed stations with an external source of eyewash fluid that has been purified or sanitized. U.S. Pat. No. 6,070,279 issued to Lundstedt discloses one such retro-fit system. However, the Lundstedt patent relies upon the force of gravity to dispense the eyewash fluid from the station. Although the force of gravity offers several other advantages, it lacks the advantage of being able to maintain a constant and steady flow of eyewash fluid from the dispensing head of the station. In fact, the pressure steadily dwindles as the reservoir empties.
Turning to standalone wall-mounted and portable units, these stations typically have internal reservoirs that also rely upon the force of gravity to dispense the eyewash fluid. The U.S. Pat. No. 4,881,283 issued to Liautaud shows an example of a wall-mount unit.
In an effort to encourage more suitable eye wash facilities, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) promulgated voluntary standards for portable eye wash fountains relating to flushing periods and the rate of flow of wash fluid. These standards dictate that portable eye wash fountains should deliver no less than 0.4 gallons per minute (1.5 liters per minute) of eye wash fluid for a time period of at least 15 minutes. Responsive to the new ANSI standards, several new designs emerged seeking to provide the required flow rates for the minimum periods of time. For the most part, the eye wash stations currently on the market do provide the required flow rates for the minimum period of time.
However, newer ANSI and OSHA regulations have created additional issues that will need to be addressed, and will require improvements to the existing designs to maintain compliance. In particular, upcoming OSHA regulations will soon require the use of “sterile” eye wash fluids. As with any use of a sterile fluid, there is a desire to maintain sterility of both the source of the fluid and throughout the delivery paths and delivery mechanisms, including all delivery lines, nozzles, and pumps, if included in the delivery system.
Therefore, there is a need for new emergency eyewash systems to provide a sterile source of eyewash fluid, to maintain a steady and constant flow of eyewash fluid from the source, and to provide a sterile delivery path from the source to the delivery site.
The present invention seeks to solve some of the shortcomings of the prior art by providing a reusable/disposable impeller assembly that can be used by both plumbed, self-contained fixed-mount and portable emergency eyewash stations to deliver sterile fluid from the sterile source to the delivery site.
The impeller assembly of the present invention includes an impeller housing having an interior pumping chamber, input port into the chamber and an output port out of the chamber, and an impeller wheel rotatably mounted within the housing. The impeller wheel includes an impeller drive shaft having a drive interface that can mate with any one of multiple different drive mechanisms depending upon the installation and application. The impeller housing and wheel are designed so as to deliver the recommended 0.4 gallons per minute of fluid to the station spray nozzle. The impeller assembly is intended to be manufactured from a plastic material and is sterilized prior to installation so that the path through the impeller housing remains sterile prior to receiving the sterile eyewash fluid at the time of delivery.
In short, the impeller assembly is a simple sterile pump mechanism having an input port and an output port, and a drive interface for mating the impeller assembly with a drive mechanism.
In one embodiment, the drive mechanism comprises a second impeller wheel driven by a source of moving fluid, such as running water. This embodiment utilizes the available source of tap water as a drive mechanism to pump the sterile fluid from the source to the spray nozzles, obviating the need for any electrical power source or complicated gravity feed systems to move the sterile fluid.
In a second embodiment, the drive mechanism comprises an electrically powered drive motor. The impeller drive interface is mated with a corresponding interface on the drive shaft of a conventional electric motor. At the time of delivery, the electric motor is energized to drive the impeller to pump the sterile eyewash fluid from the source to the spray nozzles. This type of unit requires electrical power, and may further include a battery back-up
Finally, in a third embodiment, the entire eyewash station is constructed for use as a portable wheeled assembly wherein the sterile eyewash source, dispensing spray nozzles, power supply and battery backup are mounted on a wheeled cart frame so that the station can be deployed where ever necessary.
Accordingly, among the objects of the present invention is the provision for an impeller assembly for an emergency eyewash station that can be powered by different drive mechanism, including fluid and electric drive means.
Yet, another object of the present invention is the provision for an impeller assembly for an emergency eyewash station that is disposable and/or recyclable.
Yet, another object of the present invention is the provision of an impeller assembly for an emergency eyewash station where the impeller assembly is isolated from the means for driving the impeller assembly.
Yet, another object of the present invention is the provision for an impeller assembly for an emergency eyewash station that maintains a constant steady flow of eyewash fluid.
These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:
The impeller pump wheel 20 includes a pump drive shaft 22 having a drive interface 24 that can mate with any one of multiple different drive mechanisms depending upon the installation and application. The impeller pump housing 12 and impeller pump wheel 20 are designed to deliver the recommended 0.4 gallons per minute of fluid to the station spray nozzle (shown in
The impeller drive unit 28 of the first embodiment has an impeller drive housing 34 with an intake port 36 and an exhaust port 38 defining a path for the propellant fluid. Rotatably mounted within the impeller drive housing 34 is an impeller drive wheel 40 connected to and to drive the impeller drive shaft 32. The drive interface 30 on the impeller drive shaft 32 cooperates with the engagement interface 24 on the impeller pump assembly 10 to drive the impeller pump shaft 22 and the impeller pump wheel 20. The impeller drive wheel 40 is positioned within the impeller pump housing 34 and is in fluid connection with the intake port 36 and the exhaust port 38 so that the propellant fluid entering the intake port 36 propels the impeller drive wheel 40 before exiting the exhaust port 38.
Flow of the eyewash fluid is initiated by opening a valve 39 to start the flow of running water. As the propellant fluid forces rotation of the impeller drive wheel 40, the impeller drive shaft 32 turns the drive interface 30 to operate the impeller pump assembly 10. As the impeller pump wheel 20 rotates, it draws eyewash fluid through the intake port 16 into the pumping chamber 14 and projects the eyewash fluid out the exhaust port 18.
The impeller pump assembly 10 may be entirely removed and replaced as needed to ensure that the emergency eyewash station 26, 42 remains clean and free of foreign substances that may cause further injury through infection. Because the pump housing 12 remains isolated from the drive housing 34, the drive housing 34 does not need to be replaced and may be mounted permanently with the emergency eyewash station 26, 42.
The portable emergency eyewash station 200 includes a pair of wheels 208 mounted near the bottom of the body portion 202 and a handle 210 extending rearward from the top portion of the body portion 202. By pulling rearward on the handle 210, an operator can wheel the portable emergency eyewash station 200 to a desired location exactly like a dolly.
Although the portable emergency eyewash station 200 is described embodying the electrically powered pump 100, it could also be easily configured to receive the fluid powered pump of the first embodiment 10. In particular, a compressed gas cylinder with an attached regulator could be configured and arranged within the body of the portable emergency eyewash station to drive the drive impeller of the pump.
Therefore, it can be seen that the present invention provides a unique solution to the problems of the prior art by uniquely providing a pump for an emergency eyewash station that is powered by a propellant fluid or an electric motor and has a disposable or replaceable impeller housing.
It would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made to the illustrated embodiments without departing from the spirit of the present invention. All such modifications and changes are intended to be within the scope of the present invention except as limited by the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||4/620, 417/423.6|
|International Classification||A61H33/00, A61H33/04|
|Cooperative Classification||A61H35/02, Y10T29/49238, A61H2201/1238, F04D25/02, Y10T29/49716|
|European Classification||A61H35/02, F04D25/02|
|Dec 21, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FENDALL, INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DEVINAT, BENOIT;COPELAND, DAVID J.;PEREIRA, MICHAEL C.;SIGNING DATES FROM 20061023 TO 20061212;REEL/FRAME:018669/0402
|Aug 24, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BACOU-DALLOZ EYE & FACE PROTECTION, INC., RHODE IS
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:FENDALL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019742/0045
Effective date: 20070103
|Nov 28, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SPERIAN EYE & FACE PROTECTION, INC.,RHODE ISLAND
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:BACOU-DALLOZ EYE & FACE PROTECTION, INC.;REEL/FRAME:020166/0203
Effective date: 20070726
|Oct 8, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SPERIAN PROTECTION AMERICAS, INC., RHODE ISLAND
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SPERIAN EYE & FACE PROTECTION, INC.;REEL/FRAME:033917/0554
Effective date: 20131220
|Oct 10, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HONEYWELL SAFETY PRODUCTS USA, INC., RHODE ISLAND
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SPERIAN PROTECTION AMERICAS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:033951/0056
Effective date: 20140101